J&K LAND GRANT RULES
23rd December, 2022 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
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- The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) notified new land rules under J&K Land Grant Rules 2022, which replaced the J&K Land Grants Rules 1960.
- The J&K Land Grants Rules 1960 dealt with the special rules to grant government land on lease in the erstwhile State of J&K.
- Under the rule, Prime locations such as Srinagar, Jammu, Gulmarg and Pahalgam were opened up for the construction of hotels, commercial structures and residential buildings.
- According to 1960 land rules, no land will be granted on lease to a person, who is not a permanent resident of the State.
- The Government can relax this restriction in the interest of industrial or commercial development or the favour of a registered charitable society.
Key points of the J&K Land Grant Rules 2022
- According to the new land grant rules, the lease period of current landowners will not be extended in case of their lease expiry.
- It says that all leases except the expired residential leases will not be renewed.
- The lease period has been reduced to 40 years, in the 1960 land grant rules it was up to 99 years.
- An expert committee will be established to enlist all properties where the lease period had ended. These properties will be auctioned afresh.
- This will impact tourist hotspots like Gulmarg, where 56 hotels out of 59 have their leases expired already. Properties in Pahalgam, Srinagar and Jammu will also go up for auction.
- A person or an entity in default of Government Revenue or convicted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 shall not be eligible for participation in the auction.
- Administration to diversify the lease land use to promote education, healthcare, agriculture, tourism, skill development and development of traditional art, craft, culture and languages.
- The land could be leased for hydroelectric projects, stadiums, playgrounds, gymnasiums or other recreational purposes.
- The new rule also has land lease provisions for selfemployment or housing purposes of exservicemen, war widows and the families of martyrs.
- The land could also be used for facilities for migrant workers, buildings and other construction workers.
- The new rules have opened hundreds of properties for fresh auction, where outsiders could also participate.
- It will attract investment, provide employment opportunities, and promote the socioeconomic development of the region.
Present Status of Jammu and Kashmir
- Jammu and Kashmir lie to the north of the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to the west of Ladakh, which is also subject to the dispute as a part of Kashmir, and administered by India as a union territory.
- Some areas have been disputed between India and Pakistan since 1947 and between India and China since 1962.
- The Line of Control separates Jammu and Kashmir from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north.
- Unrest and violence persisted in the Kashmiri Valley and, following a disputed state election in 1987, an insurgency persisted in protest over autonomy and rights.
- A resolution to repeal Article 370 was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. At the same time, a reorganization act was also passed, which reconstituted the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The reorganisation took effect on 31 October 2019.
- This also suspended Article 35A.
- Article 35A had allowed J&K to define who its ‘permanent residents’ are and what rights and privileges are attached to such residency.
- Currently, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is administered under Article 239 of the Constitution of India.
- Article 239A, originally formulated for the union territory of Puducherry, will also apply to Jammu and Kashmir.
- The union territory is under the jurisdiction of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which also serves as the high court for Ladakh.
- In Parliament: Jammu and Kashmir now have 5 Lok Sabha Seats and 4 Rajya Sabha Seats.
Key facts about Jammu and Kashmir
- Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley.
- The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from the Tibetan plateau while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Punjab Plain of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
- The Jhelum River is the major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the other important rivers flowing through the region.
- The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into 20 districts and consists of two divisions: the Jammu Division and the Kashmir Division.
- Important Tribes; Gujjar, Bakerwal, and Gaddi.
- The most widely spoken language in Jammu and Kashmir is Kashmiri, the mother tongue of 52.72% of the population according to the 2011 census. The second most spoken language is Dogri, spoken by 20% of the population.
- According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in Jammu and Kashmir was 67.17%.